Swarm Leadership I

How to Organize without Leaders?

Floris Koot
12 min readMay 16, 2016

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The question what kind of movement is needed, to save our planet from industrial destruction, is becoming more and more essential. How to collaborate across the globe for alternatives that work? Is a leaderless movement possible? Why would that be a solution and how can it be done? Because complexity is increasing beyond what the conscious mind can understand, or order and control management can handle. We need to shift to adaptive patterns that are in synergy with the principles behind that complexity.

2018 note: Is a leaderless movement possible? Yes, it’s happening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VLs-bdINOM

“You are not a drop in the ocean, but the ocean in a drop.” Rumi

So what is this post about? Swarm Technology: also ‘Intelligent Ant Design: Conscious use of co-creative crowd behavior, without hierarchical leadership. Swarm leadership is the art of being part of the ‘Human Cloud*’ or swarm, that seeks to make the difference. It lets go of the need to control or regulate the contribution of others. It’s about helping the whole as a part, that sees itself as a part or reflection of the whole. You act from where you are. It’s about trusting in, and contributing to, the collective effort for care for nature and humane solutions.

Improvised Opera by 29 people, improvising roles, songs, drama and development on the spot through Swarm Leadership

How I developed a strong vision about swarm leadership

I have been teaching Improv theatre for over 25 years now. At some point I wondered whether it was possible to have 20+ people on stage who’d collaborate in improvising a play together. To make this happen I worked on two things. The first being the principles needed to make this work and secondly the personal attitude needed to support a fluid emergence of a cohesive play. This resulted in a number of experiments with diverse groups who were in for it. And, almost every time, before my eyes, I saw results that were stunning. This part I on Swarm Leadership focuses on the principles needed to make it work. In part II I’ll focus on what attitude it demands of someone seeking to help…

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Floris Koot
The Gentle Revolution

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.